Minimum Requirements for All RNS Laboratories. Unless a Faculty/Supervisor has completed a Hazards Assessment that can indicate otherwise, all laboratory personnel are to adhere to the following guidelines:
Recognizing that laboratory safety begins with the critical thinking and decision-making of the practitioner at the laboratory bench, think of your personal clothing as part of your personal protective equipment. Watch the short video and click to enlarge the poster, and then read the summaries of acceptable laboratory attire:
summary of acceptable laboratory attire:
- Full coverage of torso and shoulders, even when reaching for lab objects. Do not wear open-backed shirts, bare midriff shirts, etc.
- Neither too tight nor too loose/blousy. Tops that are too tight offer no barrier between you and the chemical with which you are working, and chemicals can easily wick through and contact the skin.
- Short-sleeve shirts are acceptable but may require a lab coat in certain settings.
- Cover the entire leg; wide enough at the ankle to deflect liquid spills away from shoe opening.
- Shorts and skirts that do not completely cover the leg are inappropriate apparel in the laboratory and are not permitted.
- Do not wear leggings/yoga pants or similar tight-fitting pants since they offer no barrier between you and the chemical with which you are working, and chemicals can easily wick through and contact the skin.
- Looser-fitting jeans, khakis, or even medical scrubs are preferred.
- Consider the clothing material as it relates to the potential hazards. For example, do not wear synthetic fibers (which are generally quite flammable) when working with highly flammable substances. If wearing such clothes while working under such circumstances then a flame-retardant lab coat should be worn.
- Low-heeled shoes with fully closed tops/heels must be worn in laboratories, regardless of the work that is occurring.
- Material must be impervious to liquids and powders; resist impacts/punctures from falling objects; and provide protection from materials potentially hidden in the toe space along bench areas.
- Sole resists punctures from sharp objects.
- Provides comfort and stability; do not wear high-heeled footwear to lab.
- Faculty or departmental staff who observe others wearing inappropriate footwear have the authority to tell the individuals to change their shoes before being permitted to work in the laboratory.
Items That Can Become Entangled
- Clothing/Jewelry with considerably loose portions, such as loose necklaces/bracelets, open sweaters, baggy cuffs or sleeves, or hanging scarves should not be worn since they may catch on glassware and equipment, may drag through spills, and in some cases may be a fire hazard.
• If you wear loose clothing for cultural or religious reasons then please let us help you to determine how best to secure the clothing in a reasonable manner that allows for safe work in the laboratory.
- Loose long hair (i.e., longer than shoulder length) needs to be tied back so that it does not become entangled with equipment, exposed to chemicals, or provide an impediment to vision.
- It is best to not wear any jewelry while in a laboratory. Chemicals can become trapped under the jewelry and cause injuries to the skin. Jewelry can also conduct electricity.
- Avoid wearing synthetic fingernails in the laboratory. Synthetic fingernails are made of extremely flammable polymers that can burn to completion and are not easily extinguished.
- Contact lenses do not provide a protective barrier for your eyes. If you are wearing contact lenses you must still wear the appropriate eye protection.